Here is the mother of all collectible currency, the greatest rarest and most monumental piece of American Currency ever discovered, the Friedberg 1605a. A 1934 $1 silver certificate with an overprint of the 1928 design. This transitional variety is being hailed as a missing link. It is the only unique small size non-star major Friedberg variety in any denomination under $5000. Several schools of thought are attached the creation of this amazing discovery. The first is that it was from the first sheets printed, before it was decided that the new 1934 should have a redesigned face and new numbering beginning with A00000001A, which would make the variety akin to a 1935G no motto silver certificate, albeit with great rarity. Another school of thought is that a first printing sheet of the 1934 was mixed in with 1928E sheets recieving thier overprints. If this is the case, it would have been created much in the same way a changeover pair is created. If this is the case the variety would be roughly equivilent to the unique Friedberg 1192a, an early $50 gold certificate bearing the later small red seal. That unique note, despite being from a series few collect by Friedberg variety fetched $287,500. in a Heritage auction a little over three years ago. The final theory is that note represents a "Piece de Caprice". This was a term coined by the great pattern coin specialist Dr. Judd, referring to coins produced by Mint personnel using the Mint equipment and facility that were un-authorized. In this event the transitional note would be directly equivilent to the famous 1913 V nickel, only rarer. The lowest quality of the 5 known 1913 nickels auctioned recently at over $3.1 Million dollars. Regardless of how this fascinating note came into existence, its importance to the hobby cannot be overestimated. The note has been authenticated by both PCGS and PMG currency, and is recieving the newly coined Friedberg number 1605a. An unrivaled early unique silver certificate in fabulous high certified grade. Often the unique is important but unattractive, but this glowing beautiful ultra rarity is gorgeous. The rarest and single greatest note in existence.
A historic offering of this newly discovered and attributed Friedberg variety which has been designated as Fr. 1605a. A true miracle note for the comprehensive small size collector as it is unique and will grace only a single collection during any given time frame. With this item being one of the scant few unique small size notes known as all other non-stars are 1928 $5,000 & $10,000 notes, we will expect a great deal of excitement with this offering.
Every primary design detail one would expect on a 1934 issue is present. A revised obligation is seen at left, the revised redemption clause at lower center with 'One Dollar in Silver' in favor of the 1928 'One Silver Dollar' text is noticed. The overprints is where the majesty of this note takes shape. Not present is the large '1' protector at left and Treasury seal at right. Also the 'AA' through AG' block numbers are largely absent. Instead, this note received all the overprinted features which would be found on the scarce 1928E series notes. With a 'HB' block serial number, Treasury seal at left and lack of a protector. The note is absolutely indispensible for anyone aspiring to acquire a complete set of Friedberg numbers and is the most important discovery for the paper money collecting segment ever found.
Silver Certificates were printed for a time in the United States as a form of paper currency. They were produced in response to silver agitation by citizens who were angered by the Fourth Coinage Act, which placed the United States on the gold standard. The certificate was matched to the same amount of value in silver coinage. For example, one fifty dollar Silver Certificate equals fifty silver dollars.
There are a few features that distinguish a Silver Certificate. The seal and serial numbers on many of the first Silver Certificates issued were red, brown, and blue. It was not until Series 1899 for the $1, $2, and $5 denominations that the seal and number colors were officially and permanently changed to blue. (This occurred at different points for denominations above $5). During World War II the government issued 1935a Silver Certificates with a brown seal for Hawaii distribution and 1935a certificates with a yellow seal for North Africa distribution. The idea was that if these areas fell into enemy hands during the war, the money would be able to be easily identified and cancelled so as to prevent large monetary losses.
The obligation of a certificate states how much of a specific commodity the government of a country will "pay to the bearer." On most large-size Silver Certificates, the obligation reads: "This certifies that there have/has been deposited in the Treasury of the United States of America (number) silver dollar(s) payable to the bearer on demand." On small-sized Silver Certificates beginning with Series 1934, in order to denote current location of deposit, it was changed to read: "This certifies that there is on deposit in the Treasury of the United States of America (number) dollar(s) in silver payable to the bearer on demand."
The "Coinage Act of 1873" placed the United States on the gold standard, which replaced the bimetallic (silver and gold) standard that had been created by Alexander Hamilton. Many of the poorer citizens saw this as a "crime," and silver agitation began. The Bland-Allison Act, as it came to be known, was passed by Congress on February 28, 1878. It did not provide for the "free and unlimited coinage of silver" demanded by Western miners, but it did require the United States Treasury to purchase between $2 million and $4 million of silver bullion from mining companies in the West. The silver coins that were to be minted would be legal tender for all debts, like gold. These coins, however, were quite heavy, so the government applied their gold certificate strategy to the silver. Suppose that there were five silver dollars in the treasury. The government would print a $5 Silver Certificate against the dollars, providing a somewhat easier medium of exchange. The idea was kept, and Series 1878 was printed in denominations of $10 to $1000.
Certificates circulated, mainly in the $1 denomination, widely throughout the United States in the years following 1934. When the '34s wore out, they were replaced with a new, more modern-looking Series 1953 (1935 for the $1 silvers; see below), with the same face changes as the Series 1950 Federal Reserve Notes had experienced. However, the Silver Certificates began to disappear from circulation during the 1940s and 1950s. The amount of Silver Certificates in circulation depended directly upon the amount of silver bullion in the Treasury vaults. As people redeemed the certificates for bullion or silver dollars, the notes were shredded, because the notes had lost their backing and could not be recirculated unless there was more silver being produced. The price of silver was also rising. In 1960, it was nearing $1.29, which meant that silver dollars were worth more than $1. This meant that people would receive their silver dollars, and melt them down for the bullion, thereby reducing the amount of silver in circulation, which was already falling.
In March 1964, Secretary of the Treasury C. Douglas Dillon halted redemption of Silver Certificates for Silver Dollars. In the 1970s, large numbers of the remaining silver dollars in the mint vaults were sold to the collecting public for collector value. Silver Certificates were abolished by Congress on June 4, 1963 and all redemption in silver ceased on June 24, 1968. Paper currency is still valid legal tender without the Silver Certificate, instead being backed simply by the strength of the U.S. economy. According to the U.S. treasury, "The notes have no value for themselves, but for what they will buy. In another sense, because they are legal tender, Federal Reserve notes are 'backed' by all the goods and services in the economy
A previously unknown $1 silver certificate with the design type of a Series 1928 $1 silver certificate but series dated 1934 has been given a new Friedberg number and authenticated as genuine.
Both Paper Money Guaranty and PCGS Currency has authenticated the note as a transitional. The note will be referred to as a Friedberg 1605a (Paper Money of the United States by Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg).
“It is a rare, if not extraordinary event, when in a field as well-researched and documented as modern U.S. currency, we have the need to introduce a new Friedberg number,” Arthur Friedberg said. “This is one of those moments — equally incredible and unsuspected. While it is obviously a transitional type, we feel it should be treated not as an error but in the same manner in which a similar large-size type note would be treated.”
The note bears the signatures of U.S. Treasurer W.A. Julian and Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau Jr., which are the correct signatures for a 1934 $1 silver certificate.
The note bears the designs used for Series 1928 through Series 1928E $1 silver certificates. The face of the note features the blue Treasury seal to the left of the portrait of George Washington and a large black one to the right of the portrait. The back features a large centered one over which is superimposed one dollar, with surrounding scrollwork.
All normal Series 1934 notes bear the same back design as found on the discovery piece, but a revised face design. The revised design that should have been used for the Series 1934 note bears a large numeral 1 to the left of the Washington portrait and the blue Treasury seal superimposed over the word one to the right of the portrait.